From Gigabit Ethernet and GigE Vision to 10GigE

Over the past few years, Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) has become the fastest growing interface for digital cameras in the professional imaging sector. It is a general-purpose interface that has the potential to be the first digital interface to replace existing analog camera systems in almost any application.

Focus on flexibility: Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet offers the greatest technical flexibility in terms of bandwidth, cable length and multi-camera functionality. This interface is the right choice for data rates up to 0.96Gbit/s and cable lengths up to 100 meters. It makes even complex multi-camera installations very simple.

Finally, GigE cameras offer the option to obtain power over the data line using Power over Ethernet (PoE). This requires the use of appropriate Gigabit Ethernet cables, cards in the PC or special switches or hubs, or small PoE injectors that are connected between the PC and the camera. Since PoE supply no longer requires the use of an additional cable for power supply, the entire installation effort is simplified, especially in applications with little installation space. Furthermore, the use of only one cable for power supply and data transmission reduces costs by requiring fewer parts to be purchased and installed.

Simply integrated: GigE Vision Standard

In addition to the physical interface defined in the Gigabit Ethernet standard, users are particularly impressed by the clear and logical implementation of the GigE Vision standard. It enables simple integration into all image processing programs with the help of software libraries. In addition, new investments and follow-up costs for cameras that follow the GigE standard can be easily estimated and planned since replacement of GigE-compatible cameras can be completed without changing the system setup.

Key advantages of the GigE interface:

  • High data rates
  • Usability of existing¬†Ethernet¬†infrastructure
  • Cable length up to 100m
  • Easy integration into all image processing applications (libraries)
  • High degree of standardization through¬†Gigabit Ethernet¬†and¬†GigE Vision¬†standards
  • PoE¬†functionality: power supply for the camera via the data cable

Advanced capabilities: GigE Vision Standard Version 2.0

With this version of the GigE Vision Standard, multi-camera systems can be synchronized more precisely and/or operated in real time under GigE Vision 2.0. An important component of the GigE Vision Standard Version 2.0 is the Precision Time Protocol (PTP). PTP standardizes the way components in the system synchronize their time, offering precision on the order of a few nanoseconds. The GigE Vision 2.0 standard is backward compatible, so cameras running GigE Vision 2.0 will also work with software and hardware designed for GigE Vision version 1.2.